Illegal construction in mosque: Delhi HC asks ASI to inspect, act

The Delhi High Court on Monday the asked Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the DDA to ascertain the veracity of allegations regarding illegal constructions inside a historic mosque here and pass a "speaking" order on the plea.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 13, 2014, 21:31 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday the asked Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the DDA to ascertain the veracity of allegations regarding illegal constructions inside a historic mosque here and pass a "speaking" order on the plea.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru also took note of the allegation that the constructions inside Masjid Haji Ali Jan at Ladha Sarai here in south Delhi is being "commercially" exploited by allowing running of a madrassa there.

"It is expected that the ASI, Delhi Wakf Board (DWB) and Delhi Development Authority (DDA) will ascertain the veracity of allegations. The ASI and DDA shall pass a speaking order with regard to the said allegations within 12 weeks from today by treating this petition as a representation," the court said.

Disposing of the plea, the court also granted petitioners including Abdul Moez and Mohd Salim to move a fresh plea if they remain unsatisfied with the actions to be taken by the authorities.

The plea, filed through advocate Athar Alam, alleged DWB has been interfering with the functioning of the mosque and has been responsible for allowing illegal construction, encroachment and commercial use of the place of worship.

Moez and Salim, who are also part of the managing committee of the mosque, have also sought demolition of "unauthorised construction" used for residential purpose and commercial activities.

The court, however, refused to consider the submission seeking quashing of two orders passed by Delhi Wakf Board on February 8, 2006 and August 4, 2012 to appoint Imam of the mosque and allow commercial use of the premises respectively.

"The challenges to the two orders passed by DWB in 2006 and 2012 cannot be looked into as they are highly belated," the judge said.